Banking Current Affairs 2017

Welcome to Banking Current Affairs 2017 Section of GKToday. This section has current affairs on banking industry for IBPS Banking Recruitment, RBI Grade B, SBI PO, RRB and other banking examinations. An E-book compilation of 250 Banking Current Updates from June 2014 to December 2016 can be downloaded from This Link

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%

The six member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to maintain status quo in policy rates by keeping repo rate unchanged at 6.0% under liquidity adjustment facility. It was RBI’s fourth bimonthly policy review for financial year 2017-18.

The decision of MPC was consistent with neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with objective of achieving medium-term inflation target of 4% within a band of +/- 2%, while supporting growth.

Policy Rates

Repo rate: It is rate at which RBI lends to its clients generally against government securities. It was unchanged at 6%.

Reverse Repo Rate: It is rate at which banks lend funds to RBI. It was unchanged at 5.75%.

Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate: It is rate at which scheduled banks can borrow funds overnight from RBI against government securities. It is very short term borrowing scheme for scheduled banks. It was unchanged at 6.25%.

Bank Rate: It is rate charged by central bank for lending funds to commercial banks. It was unchanged 6.25%. It influences lending rates of commercial banks. Higher bank rate will translate to higher lending rates by banks.

Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): It is amount of funds that banks have to keep with RBI. It was unchanged at 4%. The RBI uses CRR to drain out excessive money from system.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): It was changed to 19.5% from 20%. It is amount that banks have to maintain a stipulated proportion of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in form of liquid assets like cash, gold and unencumbered securities, treasury bills, dated securities etc.

Key Highlights of 4th bi-monthly policy

RBI has indicated rise in inflation and is expected to rise from its current level and range between 4.2-4.6% in second half of this year. It also has indicated a fall in GVA (Gross Value Addition) growth rate. The projection of real GVA growth for 2017-18 has been revised down to 6.7% from August 2017 projection of 7.3%.

According to RBI, various structural reforms introduced in recent period will likely be growth augmenting over medium- to long-term by improving business environment, enhancing transparency and increasing formalisation of economy.

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RBI to regulate peer-to-peer lending firms as NBFCs: Government

The Union Government has issued gazette notification, notifying that Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms will be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and thus regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The notification will help P2P lenders to gain official recognition and opens new avenues for fund-raising and business expansion. It also ends the regulatory vacuum in which P2P lending firms were operating.

Background

The RBI had floated a consultation paper in April 2016 on developing regulatory norms for P2P lending. It had proposed 6 key areas to frame regulatory framework encompassing permitted activity, regulations on capital, governance, business continuity plan and customer interface and regulatory reporting of P2P lending.

Peer-To-Peer Lending (P2P)

P2P lending is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest. It enables individuals to borrow and lend money – without use of an official financial institution as an intermediary. It can use an online platform that matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans. P2P lending gives access to credit to borrowers who are unable to get it through traditional financial institution. It boosts returns for individuals who supply capital and reduces interest rates for those who use it.

Need

P2P lending is one of the crowd-funding business model that has gathered momentum globally and is taking root in India. It promotes alternative forms of finance, where formal finance is unable to reach. It has potential to soften lending rates as result of lower operational costs and enhanced competition with traditional lending channels. If properly regulated, P2P lending platforms can do this more effectively. Though it is in nascent stage but it is not significant in value yet, but it promises potential benefits to various stakeholders (borrowers, lenders, agencies etc).

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